So, What type am I?

Almost sixty years ago, I was diagnosed as diabetic. I first knew when the nurse asked me if I had cleaned the jelly jar I used to bring in the requested urine sample! I had, and the diagnosis was confirmed. There were no types 1 and 2 back then and I’m not even sure about the term “juvenile” diabetes. I was put on two oral medications to start. I think one was Orinase, but that was a long time ago! Those medications seemed to help for a year or two, but at some point became ineffective. Of course, the only way of knowing was TesTape, a strip you peed on and it turned green with sugar. After that initial period, I requested and was given, a prescription for insulin. I was flying mostly blind during the first dozen years, trying to minimize green TesTapes while still minimizing low sugar episodes. That all changed about a dozen years later when I tracked down Richard Bernstein and had a discussion with him about a blood sugar meter.

So, officially, I have never been classified regarding diabetes type. Both I and my doctors have assumed that I am Type 1, but I’ve never had testing to confirm that. So, my question is whether that assumption is correct. And if not, does it make any difference? I’ve always controlled my carb intake to some extent. In the last four months, I’ve started on a rather low carb diet and both lost 16 pounds and gotten my A1c to 6.6 as a result. Would knowing for sure my type of diabetes be important at this point?



In terms of management, perhaps not much. You have the tools to control your BG, you’re using them correctly, and getting results you’re happy with. So from a day-to-day management standpoint, maybe not.

Where it does matter is in regard to things like insurance coverage. As a broad oversimplification, Type 1s have an easier time getting certain things approved and paid for. So, it might make a significant administrative difference, if not a medical one.

I am definitely and incontrovertibly Type 2 and have been for more than a quarter century now. Somewhere around 5 years ago I figured out that my control was going to keep worsening no matter what I did, and realized that insulin was the only real answer. So I marched in and demanded it. I am now officially an insulin-dependent Type 2.

But here’s the thing . . .

As I’ve said often, both here and elsewhere, at the end of the day I don’t care whether I am Type 1, Type 2, or Type 58. What counts is achieving and maintaining good control. That’s my objective and I don’t care how I get there so long as I do get there. Eyes on the prize. :sunglasses:


It doesn’t matter what they call you as long as you get the medicine and supplies you need and/or have a doctor who treats YOU and not a “Type.”

(It’s what doctors are supposed to do).


Thanks guys,

I had come to somewhat the same conclusion, but since I was diagnosed in a definitely low-tech era, I thought I’d check to make sure! I’m happy with both my type 1 insurance coverage AND my current level of control. Sounds like it’s official!

Does it matter, not at this stage but in the beginning it might have. If you are T1 as accepted by you and your doctor you had a pretty good run at a honeymoon period, one year on orals doesn’t happen often for Type 1.

It may not happen often, but it does happen. I was misdiagnosed as Type 2 and in moderate control using metformin for 14 yrs before finally confirming Type 1 with antibody tests. Even at that point, I only needed a basal for the next 4 yrs. As they say, YDMV.


I’m in the 'What type am I?" class - originally diagnosed as Type 2, last year, my endo decided I’m Type 1 – then retired… New endos, one wanted to stick with Type 2, the other prefers to stick with Type 1 (or maybe 1.5, for what that’s worth - though it’s ‘worth’ a changed ICD10 code. heh), but keeps trying to ‘prove’ that I’m really “burnt-ut type 2” sigh.

As others have said, my only concern is that whatever they call me, they back it up with the paperwork needed to get me the supplies I need and the right treatment for ME.

I call me… Type Weird.

When your only yardstick is a piece of yellow tape that you pee on, it’s pretty hard to judge how long the actual honeymoon is! As best I recall, there was not a single blood sugar test. And I only switched to insulin because I requested it.

Same here, though I wasn’t diabetic during the boiled syringe/yellow tape era. The only reason I’m on insulin is because I asked to be.